steeladept, does that assessment change any at all when it is considered I will not be buying a data plan for reasons stated here? How many cloudless Apple apps are out there?
Actually looks like there are a few. I know there is an iSilo for iPhone as well.
Also, can iPod Touch use passthrough connectivity from a PC when connected to the PC like Windows Mobile can? Then in theory I could do some things like downloading podcasts "online".
No. Everything I said works equally well with my iPod Touch (that is what I am using as a proxy for testing). As for the passthrough connectivity, yes. Well sort of, I think. I honestly am not exactly sure what you mean by passthrough connectivity. The iPod Touch can link to any wireless (802.11b/g maybe n) connection and run directly as a device for podcasts and whatnot. You can also use iTunes (either on the computer or the preloaded app) to download podcasts and other similar content. Lastly, there are yet more apps out there that allow you to view pretty much anything else that they support independent of Apple (YouTube, for example, has an app that will let you download YouTube videos directly to the device without going through iTunes). Actually most apps that are made for the iPhone work equally well with the iPod Touch. The few exceptions I can think of are phone specific, or location based apps. These need the GSM towers to connect and function. Everything else (even SMS apps and the like) work fine on the Touch. Of course you need a wireless connection for any connectivity type apps, but they work.
I don't really understand any of this. I have an Android phone and I'm not locked in. Email apps are available and easy to sync with any email provider that you are using.
I haven't looked at syncing with Outlook, since that is the last thing I want to do. But I've seen references to CompanionLink and Fliq which claim to sync.
The problem is you need a separate app for each of them and not all services provide one. On the iPhone, the generic email app allows me to consolidate my Yahoo, Hotmail, GMail, Exchange, and any other IMAP or POP3 email account (up to 4 accounts) into the one app. I can likewise download separate apps if that works better. With the Android platform I *MUST* create a GMail account and I *MUST* register and use it for many different uses, even if I already have several email accounts and don't want to use GMail (which I don't). With the Apple platform (Gah, I am already starting to sound like a fanboy, yuk! - <washes mouth out with soap....comes back to finish typing>) I do need to create an Apple account for the iPhone/iPod Touch, but then I don't need to ever use it again (except for any iTunes/app store "purchases"). All email communication comes in on any email service I prefer, and in fact I have no Apple email service at all.
As for the apps that claim to sync, I don't recall Fliq, but I know CompanionLink is VERY expensive ($40+ USD)
and really doesn't fully sync. I think it syncs emails, but my main concern was with contact lists and calendars and it didn't do calendar syncing at all IIRC.
Must have been thinking of a different app I tried. However, to make it even more expensive, not only is this app $40, but then you needed to get DejaOffice on top of that. Don't know how much more that would cost.
Just looking at Fliq real quick already shot it down.
Need a Fliq account and must sync with the account, not just between Outlook and the Device. I can already do that if I am willing to go through GMail and use that as the common hub instead.
Guess I really do need to read closer. But this app too is quite expensive. If I had seen it when I had my android device, though, I might have given it a whirl and seen if that would have satisfied my needs.
My problem is I didn't want a common hub to complicate my life further, I just wanted something that consolidated my already too distributed electronic life.